Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday doubled down on her desire to pass sweeping climate change legislation this year in the wake of President Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday night on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“If anybody needed any more eloquent message that we need climate change legislation to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, they need only look at what happened in the Gulf of Mexico,” Pelosi told reporters while calling Obama’s call for action on energy reform courageous and historic.
While a number of Democratic moderates have expressed concern about voting on another major legislative package, Pelosi said Obama’s speech created an opportunity for a national debate on the issue.
“We should be looking above earth” for renewable energy sources, she said. “The further down we dig, the riskier the initiative, the worse the consequences.”
Pelosi reiterated the House will pass a series of measures aimed at directly dealing with the spill, including lifting the liability cap, reforming oil leasing laws, protecting workers and improving preparedness for disasters.
But “they are not a substitute for the fact that we must address the issue of our dependence on fossil fuels domestic and international when they come at such a high price,” Pelosi said.
America sends $1 billion overseas every day to pay for oil, she noted, in addition to the catastrophe in the Gulf.
“God has given us the sun, the wind and the soil for us to have solutions. Science and technology can take us to a better place.”